[lit-ideas] Re: Studies In Chicken and Whisky

  • From: wokshevs@xxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 13:05:43 -0230

Just one minor comment for the sake of maintaining the arches of civilization.
(It's Victoria Day today in Canada, and thus I offer the following thoughts, in
keeping with a cosmopolitan sense of what unites us in our common humanity and
dignity - be we Quebecers or not.)

Now, regarding those arches and David R's rant below, along with his posting of
May 12 ("Whisky a la ..."): There is one reference made in both these texts
that is morally and epistemically worthy of comment. (I don't mean to suggest,
of course, that there are no other references in these texts of similar
status.) The matter under discussion here is The Macallan, 12 yr. old. 

No, this malt - like the Toronto Maple leafs -  does not perform well on ice.
Of course, no single malt scotch whiskey should ever be mixed with ice. This is
not a categorical imperative, mind you, but rather a hypothetical one: 

If you wish to
experience comprehensively the possible nosing and tasting notes of a single
malt, keep the ice in the freezer. All you need is a splash of water, a very
small splash, for every dram (one and one quarter oz.) of malt. 

To determine whether you have added too much or too little water, do NOT taste
the malt. For if you put too little water into your sniffer - we all do have
our sniffers, of course - a taste will debilitate your taste buds beyond
redemption for the evening ... indeed, to the point where you might as well
replace the whiskey on its alphabeticized position on the shelf and take out a
bottle of Jack Daniels from the baement.
(Apologies to the bourbonites of the world ... but, after all ....)

Moving right along: Stick your nose into the glass .... further, further ....
that's it. No, that's too far. You'll drown that way. There, that's the right
distance, just on top of the liquid. Now breathe in through your nose. Take a
lo-o-o-ong, de-e-e-ep breath. If you begin to experience a discomforting,
perhaps even slightly painful, sensation at the back of your nose, you know
that you have not added sufficient water to your dram. Proceed accordingly. 

Under idealized epistemic conditions of discourse, you should be able to come to
an agreement with your libational interlocutors on the following generalizable
tastes: Some sherry. Some honey. Flowery notes (you decide). A nicely rounded
finish, but nothing to write home about. If the colour amber pleases you, go
with that ethical conception of the pleasing. 

Thus ends the lesson. 

(Wirchlich! The things I do for civilization and the ideals of a
liberal education! I trust that our friendly neighborhood stingray, along with
Newman, Pelikan and Reading appreciate my efforts. Not that I have anything
against chicken stock, mind you. I catch a cold, too, every once in awhile.)

Imagine: Socrates never had a taste of the good stuff. Diotima must have been
one hell of a great libational spirit!

Sir Walter of the Rock
Department of Speyside Malts and Hermeneutic Phenomenology
University of the Famous Grouse
Edinburgh, Scotland

Quoting David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>:

> Critics may be unanimous that no verse which appears on this list has  
> more than an ounce of good sense in it, and that all of it is  
> certifiably green in the meaning department, but if we stipulate  
> this, where does that leave the poor sod who gets attacked for  
> mentioning that he puts ice in his whisky?  I mean he's sitting there  
> quietly on the group W bench, just sitting there with Arlo and a  
> rather large lobster, churning his words, and suddenly, just because  
> he's mentioned frozen water, hordes of pork roasters come at him with  
> ice picks. How much justice is there in that, I ask you?  About as  
> much as you'd get from a blind barman in a New England nunnery.   
> Maybe less.  Bloody minded is what I call it, just plain  
> straightforward bloody minded, like a Yorkshire pig with a hankering  
> for truffles, setting off for France, and finding after the  
> Strindberg roundabout--avoid that one on any bank holiday weekend is  
> my bit of free advice-- and turning left at Helium (if you see signs  
> for Misery, you've gone too far), carrying on past McGonagall's  
> Auction (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/ 
> tayside_and_central/7402920.stm.)  that he's actually got no idea  
> where France is.  That's not how we go about life down at the Salt  
> Lake Masonic.  Show me money and I'll show you people with a lot more  
> sense than pigs, people who know their ice cubes from their branches,  
> people who can tell you there's not an ounce of difference between  
> cold water out of a stream and frozen water from the freezer.  Water  
> is water and work is work and that's all I can compress into a  
> postcard-sized rant, so that's all there is to it.
> David Ritchie
> taking it home in
> Portland, Oregon
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